'Slumdog' director to judge at film festival

A jury led by Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” helmer Danny Boyle will judge 16 films from 16 territories competing for the Jin Jue (Golden Goblet) prize at the 12th Shanghai Film Festival, which runs June 13-21.

The competition films were unveiled at a news conference in Beijing by Ren Zhonglun, VP of the Shanghai Media and Entertainment Group and president of Shanghai Film Group.

Some 1,925 films will unspool at the fest, which offers a platform for Chinese auds to see movies outside the 20 or so foreign pics normally permitted into China. Of these, more than 200 have not been released internationally.

Competition pics are: “We Can Do That” by Giulio Manfredonia and “Schemes of Affection” by Dodo Fiori, both from Italy; Emmanuel Finkiel’s “Nowhere Promised Land” and Andre Techine’s “The Girl on the Train,” both from France; “Aching Hearts” by Nils Malmros from Denmark; Swedish-Danish pic “Original” by Antonio Tublen and Alexander Brondsted; Germany-Cyprus-Greece co-production “Small Crime” by Christos Georgiou; “A Piece of Me” by Christoph Roehl from Germany; “Romance” by Guel Arraes from Brazil; “Rough Cut” by Jang Hun from Korea; “Splinters” by Maciej Pieprzyca from Poland; “Chameleon” by Krisztina Goda from Hungary; “Normal” by Julius Sevcik from the Czech Republic; “Soul Searching” by Wanma Caidan from China; “The Storm in my Heart” by Pal Jackman from Norway; and Yao Shuhua’s mainland China-Hong Kong-Taiwan co-production “Empire of Silver.”

The fest also will feature an Asian New Talent event with nine entries from India, Iran, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore and China; a market; and the fourth China Film Pitch and Catch, which aims to give Chinese filmmakers valuable face time with global producers and distributors.

The growing muscle of the Chinese film biz, combined with box office increases in the world’s most populous nation, means this year’s event will be more closely watched than ever. Organizers say a record number of delegates have signed up for the event, with particular interest coming from Italy.

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